Weekly Fishing Report - March 1

The lower North Island is turning on a stunner weather-wise as we head into spring and the fishing has been equally superb.

DSC02426A fine settled period with light winds is forecast for the region over the next four or five days. The few scattered showers on Saturday won't cause any issues.

The trout are feeding hard at present - largely on terrestrials, such as cicada and passion hoppers and grass hoppers - and the condition factor is exceptional as they start to build bulk for the spawning season.

That was reinforced recently when the Wellington Fish & Game drift dive team spotted a trophy fish (around 12lbs) in the Hutt River last week!

That's right - a world-class, 'fish of a lifetime', only minutes from the Wellington CBD!

Another massive double-figure brown was also taken further north in our region over the last few weeks too.

So, with the weather spot on, trophies on offer, there's nothing left for it but to get out and try your luck.

Pictured above right: Stunning conditions on the Hutt River late last week - it should be firing this weekend too! (Credit: Duncan Cameron).

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt1Mar2017Click the weather icons above to update.

The Hutt River is magic at the moment, the lowest it was been for months (surprisingly) but still carrying a bit of colour from the Mangaroa which plays into the angler's hands. Hit it this weekend and see if you can sneer that ellusive trophy.


 

Kapiti Coast

Kapiti1Mar2017Click the weather icons above to update.

The Kapiti Coast rivers are looking superb. No issues with flow or weather here so nothing for it but to get into some fish!


 

Wairarapa

Wairarapa1Mar2017

Click the weather icons above to update.

Great conditions throughout the Ruamahanga catchment again this week. All the rain in the Wairarapa means the rivers are not suffering from the usual excessive irrigation take which can really hammer the flow and create algal blooms. This does mean the fish have more water so it's a matter of moving around a lot to find them.


 

Manawatu

Manawatu1Mar2017Click the weather icons above to update.

The Manawatu and its major tribs - the Pohangina and Oroua and Mangatainoka - are all looking great. The fishing has been very good in this part of the region too with reports of good numbers of well-fed fish about.


 

Rangitikei

Rangitikei1Mar2017Click the weather icons above to update.

The Rangitikei and Hautapu are low clear and full of fish! Hit it this weekend - it'll be a stunner.


Tip of the Week - How to handle fish

HCarnachancopyrightMar12017Many anglers choose to practice catch and release these days but it's important to know how to handle fish so they actually survive or aren't damaged when returned to the water.

Fish & Game staff often see fish that are carrying scars, damaged gills or are blind in one eye.

There's no proof that anglers caused this damage but careful handling is crucial for the trout to swim off unharmed and survive.

Here are some tips if you're practicing catch and release:

  • Use a knotless landing net - dragging fish across hot rocks or letting them flap around on the shore will surely damage their sensitive membrane coating the scales and protecting the skin from infection.\
  • Use forceps to remove the hook so you don't have to touch the fish with your hands - your hands are hot and can actually burn the trout.
  • Always wet your hands if, for some reason, you have to touch the fish.
  • If taking a photo, crouch down and keep the fish in the water until the picture is ready to be taken, lift just above the water supporting it under the pectoral fins with a grip around the 'wrist' of the tail. Return to the water immediately after the shot.
  • Hold the fish gently into the current so water is flowing over its gills, and allow it to recover and swim off at its own pace.

By Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.

Magcover 1Fish & Game NZ magazine online

We've just uploaded a heap more content from some of our back issues.

Feature articles, photo spreads, columns and fly tying - check it out Fish & Game NZ magazine online.

And if you're on Facebook, 'like' the Fish & Game NZ Magazine Online page so we can keep you up to date with new content releases, competitions and other offers.

Video of the week

Backcountry bliss capture on film by Andrew Harding. Click the screenshot below to watch, noting that you can fish in all sorts of adverse conditions!

Notice board

  • River bulldozing - Don't let this activity by Greater Wellington Regional Council ruin your fishing. Click here for the latest schedule of river destruction (you can also register your complaints through this page).
  • Ruamahanga access at Gliding Club (Greytown) - please note that work is being done by the council on the Pah Road access point. Anglers are being directed to the Tilsen Road access. This is across the farmland currently under lease so please respect his wishes that anglers:

- Leave the gates across the access road closed (they won't be locked).
- Contact him first before access (his number is on a sign on the gates) to let him know.

  • There's an import advisory for anglers about the Moawhanga flushing flows here.
  • Rangitikei River Access - Access point 10 (Rangitieki Valley Road end) has been washed out by flood and there is no longer access. Please use alternative access points.

Email Wellington Communications and Field Officer Hamish Carnachan if you'd like any fishing or freshwater-related items posted to this noticeboard.

​*This report was accurate at time of writing - please ensure you check the latest weather and river flow information before you head out on the water.